A number of companies have accused their competitors of staging Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against them, according to recent research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.
The research shows that nearly half (48%) of those surveyed believe they know the identity and motivation of those behind recent DDoS attacks against them, and many named their competitors as key culprits.
Whilst criminals seeking to disrupt a company's operations make up over a quarter (28%) of the suspects, a surprising one in eight (12%) companies believe that their competitors are responsible and have paid for DDoS attacks against them, making these cyber-threats even more harmful.
This suspicion increases even more for those in the business services industry, with over a third surveyed (38%) believing that their competitors were behind a DDoS attack.
Other perpetrators cited by the respondents include: criminals seeking to disrupt or distract while another attack took place (18%); criminals seeking to disrupt their services for a ransom (17%); political activists (11%); and governments or state powers (5%).
The most popular motivation for the attacks was deemed to be a ransom, according to manufacturers (27%) and those in the telecoms industry (27%).
"DDoS attacks are no longer just about cyber-criminals seeking to halt a company's operations.
“Businesses are becoming suspicious of each other and there is a real concern that many companies - including small and medium-sized ones - are being affected by the underhand tactics of their competitors, who are commissioning DDoS attacks directly against them, damaging their operations and reputation," says Evgeny Vigovsky, Kaspersky Lab head of DDoS protection.
"No matter what industry you operate in, your organisation will have competitors, so it is wise to remain vigilant and fully understand the repercussions of a DDoS attack on your business in terms of the potential financial and reputational damage.
“It is wise not to pay a ransom, or to fall victim to cyber-criminals or competitors. Ensure that you have the appropriate security measures in place to help manage the increased risk posed to your business from DDoS attacks," he says.